Tag Archives: Bhutan

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: March 30, 2022

Afghanistan
UN Calls on Islamic Emirate to Honor Promise on Girls’ Education: Tolo News

The members of the UN Security Council have expressed their deep concern regarding the inability of girls beyond grade six in Afghanistan to return to their schools, as they were promised. Click here to read…

EU: Decision on Girls’ Schools Impacts Engagement: Tolo News

The European Union on Monday in a statement said the decision on girls’ education by the Islamic Emirate violates the fundamental right to education, and called for the immediate re-opening of secondary schools for girls in the country. Click here to read…

WB suspends $600M worth of projects in Afghanistan over school ban: The Khaama Press

The World Bank has announced that they have put on hold four projects in Afghanistan worth of $600 million following the ban on girls’ secondary schools in the country. The projects that were funded by Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) concentrated on agriculture, education, health, and livelihood. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
World Bank approves $358m for safer roads in Bangladesh- The Daily Star

World Bank today approved $358 million to help Bangladesh improve road safety, and reduce fatalities and injuries from road accidents in selected high-risk highways and district roads. Click here to read…

Russel wanted to be an army officer: PM- The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked Bangladesh Armed Forces personnel to always be ready to protect the country’s independence and sovereignty. Click here to read…

Only 3,000 social workers to protect vulnerable children in Bangladesh: Unicef- The Daily Star

Over 100,000 social workers are needed in Bangladesh to adequately respond to the needs of vulnerable children, but currently there are only 3,000 social workers in the country, Unicef has said. Click here to read…

Freedom of expression still heavily curtailed in Bangladesh: Amnesty International- The Daily Star

Freedom of expression continued to be heavily curtailed by draconian laws” in Bangladesh in 2021, Amnesty International has said. Click here to read…

Can firmly say Rab last resort in rescuing abducted victims: DG- The Daily Star

The Rapid Action Battalion’s success in combating crime with upholding humanity is unprecedented in the world, said its Director General Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun. Click here to read…

Bomb attack on Benapole land port workers: 3 cases filed against 36- The Daily Star

Three cases have been filed against 36 people in connection with yesterday’s crude bomb attack on workers of Benapole Land Port in Jashore’sSharshaupazila, which left 20 people injured. Click here to read…

Onion import to continue: agriculture secretary- The Daily Star

The option to import onion will remain open now in order to keep the price of the cocking ingredient stable ahead of Ramadan, said Agriculture Secretary Md Sayedul Islam. Click here to read…

US to provide $152m aid for Rohingyas, host communities: Ambassador- The Daily Star.

US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Peter Haas, has announced USD 152 million in new humanitarian assistance for nearly one million Rohingyas and host communities. Click here to read…

Santal farmers killed selves being deprived of irrigation water: Farmers tell probe body blaming operator- The Daily Star

While the probe committee from the Ministry of Agriculture visited Rajshahi’sGodagariupazila today, many farmers elaborately told them that the death of two santal farmers was primarily because the operator deprived them of irrigation water. Click here to read…

BNP incited left parties to call hart all- The Daily Star

Information Minister Hasan Mahmud yesterday said BNP instigated left-leaning political parties to enforce hartal, which protested price hike of essentials. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Actions will be taken on free-roaming Covid-19 positive cases- Kuensel

The increasing number of positive cases in the community is attributed to the people not isolating themselves strictly after testing positive. Click here to read…

India releases Nu 737M for 12th Plan projects- Kuensel

The government of India released Nu 737 million (M) yesterday for projects including roads, urban development and school infrastructure. Click here to read…

8Economic affairs ministry proposes options to reduce fuel price- Kuensel

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) has proposed numerous interventions to the Cabinet to reduce fuel prices. Click here to read…

Maldives

The Maldives, UAE sign MoU on experience exchange on gov’t development, modernization: Raajje M

A significant agreement has been signed between the Maldives and United Arab Emirates (UAE), as part of Vice President Faisal Naseem’s ongoing visit to the UAE. Click here to read…

Myanmar
The Day Civilians Took Office in Myanmar After 53 Years of Military Rule – The Irrawaddy

On this day in 2016, a civilian government took office for the first time in 53 years in Myanmar following the National League for Democracy (NLD)’s victory in the November 2015 general election. Click here to read…

In Solidarity with Coup Leader, Myanmar Ex-Generals Appear at Armed Forces Day Event – The Irrawaddy

The appearance of ex-generals from the previous Myanmar military regime at the Armed Forces Day commemoration and subsequent ceremony hosted by the current regime on Sunday proves that they are all in solidarity with junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, who staged a coup that has so far killed 1,700 people. Click here to read…

Myanmar Junta Helicopter Crashes in Chin State – The Irrawaddy

A military helicopter crashed and injured five people onboard at Hakha, Chin State’s capital, on Tuesday morning, according to Myanmar’s junta. It is the third air force crash since June. Myanmar’s air force is known for frequent deadly crashes, even during training exercises, due to its largely outdated fleet.Click here to read…

Myanmar Junta Enacts Law Allowing It to Deploy Police to Front Lines – The Irrawaddy

The Myanmar military regime has enacted a new law making it compulsory for law enforcement officers to fight alongside soldiers on the front lines, while expanding their powers to restrict citizens’ civil liberties. Click here to read…

Karen Ethnic Armed Group Tells Myanmar Govt Employees in Its Area to Quit – The Irrawaddy

District level Karen National Union (KNU) offices recently called on non-striking government employees working for the regime in KNU-controlled areas to resignClick here to read…

Public to Boycott Myanmar Junta’s New Year Water Festival – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar could not celebrate Thingyan in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19 and military rule but this year the regime is trying to bring the Burmese new year festival back to life. Click here to read…

Airstrikes Continue After Myanmar Junta Suffers Heavy Losses – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s military continues using helicopters to attack villages near the Thai border in Myawaddy Township where its troops are suffering heavy losses. Daily fighting has continued in the Karen State border district for months amid heavy junta reinforcements, artillery and airstrikes. Click here to read…

Youths in Sittwe mark Right to Truth Day with calls for justice, human rights – BNI Online

Commemorated annually on March 24, the UN-recognised day is known in longform as International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. Click here to read…

Nepal
(Editorial)Ties consolidated- Himalaya

Wang’s visit was, thus, a good opportunity for Nepal to clarify Nepal’s position that any development assistance from a country would be utilised solely for development purposes and that it would never accept any project with political and other conditions. Click here to read…

NC to tie up with ruling allies for civic polls- Himalaya

The central working committee of the ruling Nepali Congress today unanimously decided to forge poll alliance with other coalition partners in local elections scheduled for May 13. Click here to read…

Nepal, Republic of South Sudan establish diplomatic relations- Himalaya

Nepal and the Republic of South Sudan have established diplomatic relations. With this, the number of countries with which Nepal has bilateral diplomatic relations has reached 175. Click here to read…

Mahat-led delegation meets PM Deuba- Himalaya

A delegation from Nuwakot led by Nepali Congress Spokesperson Prakash Sharan Mahat today called on Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and apprised him of several issues facing the district. Click here to read…

Congress comes up with formal decision on poll alliance- Kathmandu Post

Members of rival Nepal Congress faction fear that alliance with communists could harm the party’s voter base. Click here to read…

Security printing will give sense of independence in printing sector: Communications Minister Karki- Himalaya

Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said the purpose of making the country independent in the printing sector is being gradually fulfilled. Click here to read…

Reaction to Wang Yi’s Nepal visit in Chinese media- Nepali Times

Delayed and toned-down reaction to Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s trip to Nepal seems deliberate. Click here to read…

Pakistan
‘Stars not aligned’ for MQM announcement: Dawn

While the combined opposition tried with all its might to prevail upon the party to announce a decision there and then, MQM-P avoided making a definitive statement at such a late hour and announced that it would make its decision public the next day. Click here to read…

PM forbids PTI MNAs from attending NA session on no-trust voting: The Express Tribune

Prime Minister Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. has barred the ruling PTI lawmakers from attending the National Assembly session on the day of voting on no-trust motion, which is likely to be held in the first week of April. Click here to read…

‘Pakistan can play role for diplomatic solution to war’, PM tells Ukrainian president

Prime Minister Imran Khan has told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that non-partisan countries like Pakistan are in a position to play a helpful role in reinforcing efforts for cessation of hostilities and a diplomatic solution in the war-stricken country. Click here to read…

Umpire’s neutrality leaves smaller parties confused: The News

The ‘umpire’s neutrality’ is behind the change of plans by smaller political parties, as they are reluctant to trust the commitments made by the government and the opposition. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Can we eat money?’: Prices high, supplies low, despair in Lanka- Indian Express

Sri Lanka is facing one of its worst economic crises, battered by the Easter Sunday blasts of April 2019, two Covid waves and now the Russia-Ukraine war. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka avoids recession in Dec quarter, GDP grows 3.7% in 2021: Business Standard

Sri Lanka’s economy grew at a slower-than-expected 1.8% in the 4th quarter of the 2021 financial year, taking its full year growth to 3.7 per cent, data from the govt’s statistics department showed. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: March 29, 2022

Afghanistan
UNDP to Provide $50M to Implement Afghan Economic Programs- Tolo News

A senior official of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) announced a $50 million grant to help implement economic programs for citizens in the north of Afghanistan. Click here to read…

Laghman Governor: ‘No Armed Opposition Groups in Laghman’- Tolo News

Zain al-Abuddin Abed, the governor of Laghman province, said there are no armed opposition groups in the province. Click here to read…

Ban on Intl Media Programs Sparks Local and Global Reactions- Tolo News

The recent decision to prohibit Afghan local media from airing foreign TV channels’ news programs provoked reactions globally. Click here to read…

UN Calls on Islamic Emirate to Honor Promise on Girls’ Education- Tolo News
The members of the UN Security Council have expressed their deep concern regarding the inability of girls beyond grade six in Afghanistan to return to their schools, as they were promised. Click here to read…

Karzai hopes Beijing huddle to be fruitful for Afghanistan- Pajhwok

Former President Hamid Karzai has said that China is Afghanistan’s good neighbor and friend and expressed hope pf future cooperation. Click here to read…

Younis Khan and Umar Gul to coach Afghan players- Pajhwok

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) says that former Pakistan captain Younis Khan and national player Umar Gul has agreed to work as interim coaches with Afghan National Cricket team at UAE training camp. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Bill to curb banking fraud- The Daily Star

The Payment and Settlement Systems Bill 2022 was placed in parliament yesterday with a provision to punish top bank officials for fraudulence committed digitallyClick here to read…

Bangladesh an important partner in diplomacy’- The Daily Star

The European Union considers Bangladesh a very important partner in the regional and global diplomatic landscape, as the country has been able to demonstrate its economic and diplomatic strengths in recent years, EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley said yesterday. Click here to read…

Momen in Colombo to attend 18th ministerial meeting of BIMSTEC- The Daily Star

The eighteenth ministerial meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) opens in the Sri Lankan capital tomorrow (March 29) as the members explore ways to strengthen the forum on all fronts. Click here to read…

US sanctions on Rab an abominable move: PM- The Daily Star

Prime Minister sheikh Hasina today came down heavily on the USA for imposing sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion and some of its officials, terming it an “abominable move”.Click here to read…

Police use teargas, water cannon during clash with hartal supporters at Paltan- The Daily Star

Police used water cannon and fired tear-shell during a clash with hartal supporters at Paltan intersection in Dhaka today. Click here to read…
South Asia Diary: Ukraine war triggers food crisis in Bangladesh- WION

The war in Ukraine has triggered a food crisis in Bangladesh. Traders are hoarding essential commodities to drive up prices. The Bangladesh government has responded by announcing a nationwide ration scheme. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Major Covid-19 travel protocol changes from today- Kuensel

With the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announcing phase-wise relaxation on the travel restriction in the country on March 26, the system of switching drivers ferrying goods at various points of routes has been lifted from today. Click here to read…

Transportation becomes cheaper with no driver-switching system- Kuensel
With the driver switching modality cancelled from today, businesses expect the price of commodities to drop as transportation becomes cheaper. Click here to read…

(Editorial) Entering the new phase- Kuensel

From today we begin a new phase of relaxation. In Thimphu, movement across mega-zones is allowed and the use of private cars, taxis and city busses resumesClick here to read…

The inspirational story of Bhutan’s first Oscar nod: ‘Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom’- Knkx

The film Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, nominated for an Oscar in the Best International Feature category, traces the year-long transformative journey of a young Bhutanese teacher, Ugyen Dorji (played by actor Sherab Dorji). Click here to read…

Maldives
An Ex-President, ‘India Out’ & China: Why is Jaishankar’s Maldives Trip Vital?: The Quint

Abdulla Yameen, a former president currently leading an anti-India campaign, was recently freed from house arrest. Click here to read…

S Jaishankar, Who is in the Maldives to Discuss Bilateral Ties, Has Praised the Maldives for Its Efforts to Combat Climate Change.: Industry Global News24

S Jaishankar, who is in the Maldives to discuss bilateral ties, praised the Maldives’ climate change initiatives and stated that India is collaborating on one of the country’s largest climate adaptation projects and is eager to give its expertise in this field. Click here to read…

Myanmar
US issues sanctions on alleged arms dealers for Myanmar military – The Financial Express

The United States imposed new sanctions on Friday targeting alleged arms dealers and companies it said were involved in procuring weapons for Myanmar’s junta, the US Treasury Department said. Click here to read…

Myanmar junta chief vows no talks with opposition “terrorists” – KFGO

Myanmar’s junta chief on Sunday said the military would not negotiate with “terrorist” opposition forces, vowing to annihilate them during a speech on Armed Forces Day, as opponents of last year’s coup vowed they would fight on. Click here to read…

UN expert slams govt silence on death threats against activist – Free Malaysia Today

A United Nations human rights official has questioned the government’s seriousness in handling the harassment and death threats faced by a Rohingya activist in MalaysiaClick here to read…

UN agencies to raise $800m for Rohingyas in Bangladesh camps – NewAgeBD

International communities are set to join a conference on Tuesday for making new commitments on providing funds to maintain the expenses in Rohingya camps and adjacent areas in Bangladesh in 2022. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal to receive 11.4 billion rupees in Chinese aid- Himalaya

The government of the people’s republic of China will provide more than Rs 11.40 billion in grant assistance to the Government of Nepal under financial and technical assistance. Click here to read…

PM embarks on India visit on Friday- Himalaya

28Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is leaving for an official visit to India on April 1 at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Click here to read…

Deals on energy, connectivity on the cards during Deuba’s India visit- Kathmandu Post

Deuba is visiting Delhi on April 1-3 in his first official foreign outing since assuming office. Click here to read…

Loans on commercial terms could greatly increase Nepal’s debt burden- Kathmandu Post

Focus should be on grants, and if credit is a must, interest should be nominal, experts say. Click here to read…

EC allows fringe parties to contest polls with respective election symbols- Republica

The Election Commission (EC) of Nepal has decided to provide separate election symbols to all the political parties registered for the purpose of contesting local level pollsClick here to read…

Pakistan
JUI-F supporters vow to stay in Islamabad till PM’s removal- Dawn

While a number of political developments were observed at the national level on Monday, workers of the opposition parties believed that the stage had been set and their leaders needed to give a last push to topple the government.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1682369/jui-f-supporters-vow-to-stay-in-islamabad-till-pms-removal” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…

Pakistan dealt well with Covid: UN- Dawn

A UN report released on Monday places Pakistan among the countries that have done fairly well in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1682326/pakistan-dealt-well-with-covid-un

Capital police facing shortage of over 1,700 personnel, NA told- Dawn

The capital police are short of manpower compared to its sanctioned strength, the National Assembly has been informed. Click here to read…

SC irked by Imran’s remarks about Nawaz wooing judiciary- Dawn

Taking exception to the statements made by Prime Minister Imran Khan about the judiciary at a public meeting a couple of days ago, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel on Monday wondered if the premier could restrain himself from “irresponsible” utterancesClick here to read…

Qureshi to leave for China today- Dawn

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will leave for China on Tuesday (today) where he is expected to meet foreign ministers of other countries, including Russia, Iran and Central Asian states. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
To help Sri Lanka tackle an economic crisis, India pledges to continue cooperation, aid: Hindustan Times

Jaishankar also held talks with Sri Lanka’s finance minister Basil Rajapaksa, who has been coordinating with the Indian side on measures to cope with the economic crisis. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa thanks India for ‘invaluable assistance’: The Hindu

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday thanked visiting External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for India’s “invaluable assistance” to Sri Lanka, which is grappling with one of its worst economic crises. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: March 28, 2022

Afghanistan
US Hopes for Reversal by Islamic Emirate on Girls’ Education: Tolo News

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan said on Saturday he is hopeful that there will be a reversal of the Islamic Emirate’s u-turn on girls’ education in the coming days.“I am hopeful that we will see a reversal of this decision in the coming days” Thomas West, US special representative for Afghanistan, said at the Doha Forum. Click here to read…

Mullah Baradar Calls for Afghan Self-Sufficiency: Tolo News

First Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar said that the aid provided by international donors will alleviate urgent needs for a short period of time, but said that the ministries must work toward self-sufficiencyClick here to read…

Qatar, Indonesia sign letter for providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan: The Khaama Press

Qatar has announced that they have signed a letter of content with Indonesia based on which both the countries will cooperate in providing humanitarian and development assistance to the people of Afghanistan. Click here to read…

Impoverished Afghan families; private schools, universities lose students: The Khaama Press

Owners of private schools and universities in the Afghan capital Kabul complain that they have lost 60% of their students as the new educational year has just begun across Afghanistan. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
It’s delightful to see achievements of Bangladesh- The Daily Star

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said he is willing to work with Bangladesh to push the China-Bangladesh Strategic Partnership of Cooperation to new heights. Click here to read…

Voter list update begins on May 20- The Daily Star

The Election Commission (EC) will start updating the voter list from May 20 and this would be the last registration of prospective voters before the 12th parliamentary election. Click here to read…

Protesting price hike of daily essentials: LDA hartal in progress- The Daily Star

Half-day hartal, announced by Left Democratic Alliance (LDA) in protest of the price hike of daily essentials, has begun across the country. Click here to read…

Bridge lies with no approach roads- The Daily Star

People of several villages under two unions in Dhanbari upazila have been suffering immensely for long as the bridge over the Bangshi river does not have approach roads on either sideClick here to read…

A big leap in tech industry- The Daily Star

Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City likely to get $1.3b investment by 2025Click here to read…

Mass media employees bill to be placed at JS today- The Daily Star

Information Minister Hasan Mahmud will place the Mass Media Employees (services and conditions) Bill-2022 at JS today. Click here to read…

Bangladeshi exporters worry as global brands cancel Russian orders over Ukraine invasion- Benar News

Bangladeshi businesspeople are jittery about the future of bilateral trade with Russia, saying that international sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine are disrupting their exports of key products such as ready-made garments. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Taiwan-donated oxygen concentrators, face masks, arrived in Bhutan- Focus Taiwan

A total of 2,000 Taiwan-donated N95 respirators and 50 oxygen concentrators have arrived in Bhutan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Sunday, amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections in the Himalayan kingdom. Click here to read…

Expansionary fiscal policy pushes debt-to-GDP ratio to 138.8 percent- Kuensel

The country’s outstanding external debt increased to a record high of 138.8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the end of the fiscal year 2020-21 from the previous high of 121 percent. Click here to read…

Businesses to seek more relief measures- Kuensel

Most of the businesses would not be able to repay loans or operate if the relief or monetary measures are discontinued after June 2022, according to Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) President Tandy Wangchuk. Click here to read…

Chilies from southern districts to hit market by April end- Bhutan Times

Despite initial delay in plantation due to pest infection and cold waves, chilly growers in the south are hopeful that their chilies will hit the domestic market by April endClick here to read…

Govt. to recruit doctors from Myanmar- Bhutan Times

With critical shortage of health specialists and their services becoming even dearer in the country, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has initiated the process to recruit foreign doctors from Myanmar on a contract basis which will extend for two years. Click here to read…

Nepal
Chinese Minister Wang completes three-day visit, returns home- Himalayan

China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi returned home today after completing his three-day visit to Nepal. Click here to read…

Wang urged to get China border opened- Himalayan

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal separately today. Click here to read…

Nepal to receive 11.4 billion rupees in Chinese aid- Himalayan

The government of the people’s republic of China will provide more than Rs 11.40 billion in grant assistance to the Government of Nepal under financial and technical assistance. Click here to read…

Tiktok: A tool to win elections- Kathmandu Post

TikTok has been misused by propagandists to spread the political narrative in Southeast Asia. Click here to read…

Main opposition harbours hope to defend pole position, through poll

alliances- Kathmandu Post

UML leaders put on bold faces but are looking deep for opportunities to fight upcoming local elections in collaboration with friends and foes. Click here to read…

(Opinion) Fixing the broken parts in Nepal-China ties: kanak Mani Dixit- Nepal Times

Foreign Minister Wang Yi must use his Kathmandu visit to clear the growing distrust between Beijing and Kathmandu, and seek to better understand Nepal, including its age-old links to Tibet. Click here to read…

Nepal Army Day marked in Kathmandu- Republica

Nepal Army organized a special ceremony to observe the Nepal Army Day and Maha Shivaratri festival at Tundikhel, Kathmandu on Tuesday. Click here to read…

China opposes attempt to engage Nepal in geopolitical games: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi- Nepal Live Today

“China believes that all countries are equal regardless of size, and respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries.” Click here to read…

Maldives
India-Maldives launch initiatives to expand security ties to protect S Indian Ocean: Economic Times

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is on a two-day trip to the Maldives, said on Sunday that “India and Maldives share a deep and abiding friendship. Click here to read…

Explained: What’s behind the new anti-India campaign in the Maldives?: Indian Express

The theme of the rally was “India Out”, a slogan coined two years ago by protesters who claimed that the MDP government led by President Ibrahim Solih had “sold out” the Maldives to India. Click here to read…

Myanmar
China And Pakistan Stepping Up Engagement with Myanmar, And That’s Bad News for India – Swarajyamarg

With global attention focused on the crisis in eastern Europe, China has surreptitiously stepped up its engagement with Myanmar’s junta and has also got Pakistan involved as its proxy to supply arms and munitions to the southeast Asian nation. Click here to read…

Myanmar’s crimes against the Rohingya warrant UN intervention – The Guardian

Now that the US has finally accepted that Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing and mass murder of Rohingya Muslims amounts to genocide (Rohingya refugees welcome US decision to call Myanmar atrocities a genocide, 22 March), the UN should enact its responsibility to prevent and respond to this most serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law. Click here to read…

Myanmar army denies Rohingya genocide, says some individuals may have committed crimes – US News

Myanmar’s military did not commit genocide against minority Rohingya Muslims during 2017 operations in Rakhine state, but crimes may have been committed by personnel on an individual level, an army spokesman said on Thursday. Click here to read…

Myanmar military deliberately killed civilians after coup: Report – Aljazeera

Myanmar’s military and police deliberately killed civilians opposed to its rule in the six months following the coup in February 2021, in a policy that amounts to crimes against humanity, according to new research published on Thursday. Click here to read…

Armed Forces Day Spotlights Atrocities – Human Rights Watch

Myanmar’s Armed Forces Day on March 27, 2022, is an opportunity for foreign governments to take stronger action against the military’s widespread abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. Click here to read…

Massive Military Regime Convoy Arrives in Western Myanmar – The Irrawaddy

A Myanmar military convoy consisting of 80 vehicles including artillery and armored vehicles has arrived in Mindat in southern Chin State, according to the Chinland Defense Force (CDF), a local resistance group fighting the regime. Click here to read…

Drug use on rise in Rakhine under the current government – Narinjara

Rakhine State has been witnessing the increase of illegal drug uses, including WY stimulants, under the current administration of military backed government, allege locals. Ko Aung Chae, a resident of Buthidaung locality, claimed that the use of drugs among teenagers was on rise in their township, which is located in northern Rakhine. Click here to read…

Japan’s ‘Special Relationship’ With Myanmar Has Abetted Decades of Military Rule – The Irrawaddy

That “special relationship”—when it comes to aid, investment and involvement in the so-called peace process—has so far resulted in little more than making sure that the Myanmar military remains firmly entrenched in power. Click here to read…

Pakistan
PM Imran says ‘foreign-funded conspiracy’ out to topple his govt, claims to have evidence in writing: Dawn

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday claimed that the opposition’s no-trust move is part of an alleged “foreign-funded conspiracy” hatched against his government over his refusal to have Pakistan’s foreign policy be influenced from abroad. Click here to read…

NA to deliberate on no-trust move today: The Express Tribune

The much-anticipated session of the National Assembly to deliberate on the no-confidence motion filed against Prime Minister Imran Khan by the opposition parties will be held today (Monday). Click here to read…

Gas crisis to hit country in summer too: The News

After the Singapore based LNG trading company GUNVOR backed out of delivery of four LNG cargoes that were to be delivered in the remaining four months, in April, May and two in June of its five-year contract ending in July 2022, and the decision of Pakistan LNG Limited not to procure spot LNG cargo for April at the price of $34.677 per MMBTU offered by Vitol Bahrain in the bids opened on Friday, it seems the country would now experience a gas crisis even in the summer season. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
India asks Sri Lanka to release fishermen, fishing boats from custody: Economic Times

India expressed its readiness to work together with Sri Lanka for joint research to enhance the productivity of the Palk Bay fisheries. Click here to read…

S Jaishankar Lands in Sri Lanka For Bilateral Talks, BIMSTEC Summit: NDTV

This is his first visit to the island nation since India extended an economic relief package to bail Sri Lanka out of the current economic crisis. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: January 19, 2022

Afghanistan
Minister Orders Police to Stop Unauthorized Operations: Tolo News

Acting Minister of Interior Sirajuddin Haqqani ordered Kabul police districts to avoid launching unauthorized operations and to not detain suspects or search people’s houses without consulting the ministry. Click here to read…

Earthquake in western Afghanistan kills 28, destroyed 800 homes: The Khaama Press

Deputy Minister of Information and Culture and spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Zabiullah Mujahid said that two earthquakes in the western Badghis province on Monday, January 17 killed 28 people, wounded four, and destroyed 800 homes. Click here to read…

IEA asks Norway to take lead in recognition: The Khaama Press

Deputy of the Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in economic affairs Maulaee Kabir meets with the Norwegian ambassador to Kabul Andreas Linedman and expressed hope that Norway would take lead in recognizing the interim government in Afghanistan. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
President Hamid to DCs: Don’t abuse power while discharging duties- Dhaka Tribune

The president reminded the DCs that getting services is the right of people, not an act of kindness or benevolence. Click here to read…

India’s Modi urges collective global effort to deal with cryptocurrencies- Dhaka Tribune

India has been mulling virtual currency-related regulations which were widely expected to be introduced in the winter session of the parliament in December before being shelved. Click here to read…

Govt turns down DCs’ plan to oversee development projects- Dhaka Tribune

Proposal to move Sub-Registrar’s Office under Land Ministry. Click here to read…

Exporters enjoying US sales bonanza- Daily Star

US consumers expected to purchase 30pc more garment, footwear in 2022: study. Click here to read…

(Opinion) Free our universities of suppression and violence- Daily Star

It is a matter of common sense that a university is supposed to create space and opportunities to generate knowledge, open up scopes for creative ideas and thinking, invite questions against the existing knowledge and system, and raise voices against injustice, discrimination and oppression. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Gelephu reports 15 new community cases- Kuensel

Gelephu reported 15 new Covid-19 cases from the community yesterday, taking the total count of the active community cases to 20 in the past two days. Click here to read…

Primary contacts of the positive case in Mongar quarantined- Kuensel

All 16 primary contacts of the 38-year-old non-Bhutanese man, who had come from Wangdue and tested positive for Covid-19 at Gyalpoizhing, Mongar, were traced and quarantined yesterday. Click here to read…

Imports and exports in Samdrupjongkhar resume- Kuensel

Imports and exports in Samdrupjongkhar, which were suspended after one of the frontline workers at the border checkpost (BCP) tested Covid-19 positive yesterday morning, resumed at 3pm after sanitising the area. Click here to read…

MoEA minister discusses P I barrage, Sunkosh status, Vegetable exports, power export to Bangladesh, Third internet gateway in Delhi visit- Daily Bhutan

In the first ever in person meeting with Indian ministers in more than two years, the Minister of Economic Affairs Loknath Sharma went to Delhi on January 10 with a host of issues from difficulty in exporting vegetables to hydropower to the third internet gateway. Click here to read…

Opposition raise concerns over youth unemployment crisis- Bhutan Times

While the government has pledged to create more employment opportunities for youths, the Opposition Party in its meet-the-press on Friday raised a scathing criticism stating that the government failed to give priority to job creation. Click here to read…

Maldives
Maldives still one of the favourite destinations to travel for Indians – Deccan Herald

Post-Covid, tourism in 2021 saw a deluge of Indian travelers flocking to Maldives, and this upward trend has remained consistent with the start of this year as well. According to Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Maldives’ Minister of Tourism, India has now replaced Russia as the top source market for Maldives, with the sheer number of Indian travelers surpassing that from all other countries. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Leaked memo shows Myanmar’s junta feels legally vulnerable – Arab News

An internal Myanmar army memo surfaced last week, instructing all members of the military to not answer or even accept any letter, summons or warrant from abroad, especially where it is clear they are from the International Criminal Court, the Argentinian federal court or any of the plaintiffs in either of these casesClick here to read…

Army denies operation inside Myanmar territory -The Hindu

In response to news story ‘Three killed in exchange of fire near International border’ published in The Hindu dated January 14, 2022, the Army on Monday denied that any such operation has taken place inside Myanmar territory. Click here to read…

Karen State: 2,190 Burma Army Soldiers Killed – KNU Claims Junta Now Resorting to Airstrikes as its Ground Troops Reluctant to Fight – BNI Online

A Karen National Union military tactical commander, in an interview with Karen News, said Burma Army soldiers were showing signs of not wanting to fight. Colonel Saw Htoo K’Shaw, Tactical Commander of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Brigade 5 said the Burma Army had suffered heavy casualties in its clashes with Karen troops and this had caused its rank and file soldiers to withdraw from battle. Click here to read…

Aung San Suu Kyi Hit With 5 New Corruption Charges – The Diplomat

According to the Associated Press, these five additional charges are connected to the granting of permits involving “the hire, purchase, and maintenance of a helicopter.” Click here to read…

Nepal
Constitutional and legal contradictions surface amid local election talks- Kathmandu Post

Some parties in the ruling coalition appear to be in bid to exploit the loopholes to delay local level polls, which have been proposed by the poll body for April-May. Click here to read…

(COLUMNS) Redrawing the map: CK Lal- Kathmandu Post

Territorial issues between countries are as challenging to resolve as claims over land ownership between squabbling siblings. Click here to read…

Ruling Parties Agree On Local Elections In April- Rising Nepal
A meeting of the ruling political parties’ joint mechanism, the High Level Political Coordination Committee on Tuesday discussed holding local election. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Bilawal sees probability of opposition parties working together: Dawn

“If they (PDM) are ready to withdraw their stance on the issue of en mass resignations and consider my proposal of bringing a no-confidence motion, then certainly there is a possibility that we can work together,” said the PPP chairman while talking to reporters outside the Parliament House on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Editorial: Vicious cycle of politics: Dawn

While the PTI government is riven by internal discord, the opposition parties are too much in a state of disarray to present any serious threat to the current dispensation. But nothing is certain given the ever-shifting sands of Pakistani politics. If conspiracy theories are to be believed the game is on. Click here to read…

Pakistan to pay Dasu attack Chinese victims: The Express Tribune

A total of 10 Chinese national lost their lives and another 26 were hurt in a suicide attack on a bus that was carrying them to the work site of the Dasu Hydropower Project in July last year. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Tamil MPs seek PM Modi intervention on political solution: The Hindu

Prominent Tamil legislators from Sri Lanka’s north and east have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking India’s help in ensuring that Colombo addresses the island’s long-pending Tamil question with a lasting political solution. Click here to read…

India extends $500 million line of credit to help Sri Lanka purchase fuel: Money Control

India on Tuesday announced a $500 million credit line to help Sri Lanka purchase petroleum products as the island nation struggles with a massive fuel and energy crisis. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: January 18, 2022

Afghanistan
Pakistani NSA to Visit Kabul Tuesday: Tolo News

A high-level delegation of Pakistan, led by the country’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf, is due to visit Afghanistan on Tuesday, Pakistani media reported. Click here to read…

IEA assures transparent distribution of humanitarian aids: The Khaama Press

Officials of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan have reacted and denied that claims over humanitarian assistance are being squandered and not delivered to the people in need. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Discard after use: Why Washington parted ways with RAB- Dhaka Tribune

Should the fact that sanctions against RAB came only months after de-prioritization of counterterrorism by the Biden administration be taken as a mere coincidence? Click here to read…

EC dialogues close with Awami League- Dhaka Tribune

President praised the ruling party for taking initiative on EC law. Click here to read…

Grading eateries loses appetite- Daily Star

Plans to bring the country’s restaurants and bakeries under a grading system according to their standards have seen little progress in three years. Click here to read…

AL places proposals, including enacting law, to President- Asian Age

Bangladesh Awami League, during the talks with President M Abdul Hamid on Monday placed some proposals, including enacting new law, strengthening the Election Commission (EC) and using EVM like technologies in the polls.Click here to read…

Bhutan
Bajo, Lobesa, Khuru towns cordoned off- Kuesel

To rule out any residual Covid-19 cases in the community, Bajo and Lobesa towns in Wangdue and Khuruthang town in Punakha and the areas surrounding them would be cordoned off and movement restricted. Click here to read…

Schools gear up to implement coding curriculum- Kuensel

‘Alien Attacks,’ a game developed by eight-grader Chencho Namgyel Ghalley, won the mini-coding contest held in Thimphu yesterday. Click here to read…

Opposition says govt’s. chili and egg import lift not sustainable- Bhutan Times

The opposition party is concerned with the government’s interim measure in allowing the import of chilies and eggs to overcome the shortage in the country as it will affect the food self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and sustainable growth rate of the country. Click here to read…

Booster dose for all eligible population to begin this month- BBS

The health ministry will roll out the COVID-19 booster dose for the eligible population on 24 of this month. The Health Minister said the country received 150,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine yesterday. The doses will be enough for approximately 300,000 people. The ministry will announce the booster rollout plan in the coming days. Click here to read…

Maldives
Over 500 new Covid-19 cases confirmed across Maldives capital in 24 hours – Raajje

According to the latest figures publicized by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), a total of 954 new Covid-19 cases and 1,958 additional recoveries were confirmed across the archipelago nation between 6pm Friday and 6pm Saturday. Click here to read…

With #IndiaOut, Maldives opposition expanding links to China – Sunday Guardian Live

Just about a year ago, on 28 August 2020, the Opposition coalition of Progressive Party of Maldives and People’s National Congress held a number of rallies across the nation to protest the so-called “selling off of Maldives” to India. Click here to read…

Myanmar
ASEAN to invite Myanmar’s non-political representative to meetings until ‘meaningful progress’ is made on five-point consensus: PM Lee – The Bharat Express News

Until there is “meaningful progress” in implementing the five-point consensus, ASEAN should stick to its decision made at the 38th and 39th ASEAN summits to invite an apolitical representative from Myanmar at ASEAN meetings, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on January 15. Click here to read…

More could be done to restore peace as invitation already extended for peace talks resumption: Snr Gen Min Aung Hlaing – Eleven Myanmar

Chairman of the State Administration Council and Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has expressed his belief that more could be done to restore internal peace as the invitation has been extended to peace talks for the resumption of new paces of peace.Click here to read…

Fight between military and rebels intensifies as hundreds of monks flee Myanmar: Report – WioNews

Intense fighting between the military junta and rebel groups have forced hundreds of monks to flee temples in eastern Myanmar as crackdown intensifies, according to media reports. The United Nations (UN) estimates that almost 90,000 people have fled, with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) placing that figure far higher at 170,000. Click here to read…

Pay your power bill or pay with your life, Myanmar soldiers warn citizens – First Post

The schoolteacher had just gotten out of bed when four Myanmar army soldiers pounded on her door. Her electricity payment was overdue, they said, and ordered her to pay it immediately at the government power company office. Click here to read…

Philippines says ‘indispensable’ Suu Kyi must be involved in Myanmar peace process – Reuters

Deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is “indispensable” in restoring democracy to the military-ruled country and must be included in any peace talks, regardless of her conviction, the Philippines’ foreign minister said on Sunday. Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal’s active Covid-19 caseload advances to 30,877 as 5747 more test positive- Himalaya

The national active Covid-19 caseload of Nepal climbed to 30,877 on Monday as 5,747 people tested positive for the infection in past 24 hours. Click here to read…

Province 2 named Madhes Pradesh, Janakpur capital- Himalaya

The long-standing debates on naming Province 2 and designating its capital have been eventually settled as the province has been named Madhesh, while Janakpur was chosen as its permanent capital. Click here to read…

Oxygen may not be an issue like last year, but experts stress preparedness- Kathmandu Post

Shortages of the life-saving gas during the second wave prompted hospitals to step up capacity. Doctors say there is a need to keep a close eye on the virus situation. Click here to read…

Kathmandu’s temple restoration after 1934 quake- Nepali Times

Monuments were rebuilt using Moghul style, and structural elements were interchanged. Click here to read…

Major U.S. airlines warn 5G could ground some planes, wreak havoc- Republica

The chief executives of major U.S. passenger and cargo carriers on Monday warned of an impending “catastrophic” aviation crisis in less than 36 hours, when AT&T (T.N) and Verizon (VZ.N) are set to deploy new 5G service. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Pakistan keen to work on gas project, PM Imran assures Putin: Dawn

PM Khan and President Putin spoke by phone about the progress in relations between the two countries, regional situation, Islamophobia and justification of blasphemy by some of the western countries as freedom of expression. Click here to read…

Editorial: The establishment pivot: Dawn

INFORMATION Minister Fawad Chaudhry has claimed that four senior members of the PML-N have met some important people and offered themselves as replacement for the Sharif family. The PML-N has rubbished this claim contemptuously. Click here to read…

Pakistan ‘successfully completes’ trial of Chinese herbal medicine to fight Covid:The Express Tribune

The Chinese medicine, Jinhua Qinggan Granules (JHQG) manufactured by Juxiechang (Beijing) pharmaceutical Co Ltd, is already being used in treatment of Covid-19 patients in China. Lanka invites Indian investments in infra, energy & manufacturing as Jaishankar & Basil Rajapaksa review status of loan request: Economic Times

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar held a virtual meeting with Finance Minister of Sri Lanka Basil Rajapaksa on Saturday. This interaction follows Rajapaksa’s visit to India last month. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: January 13, 2022

Afghanistan
Aid Must Be Coordinated With Islamic Emirate: Hanafi: Tolo News

The Second Deputy of the Prime Minister, Abdul Salam Hanafi, said that humanitarian aid must be distributed in coordination with the Islamic Emirate to the vulnerable people in Afghanistan.  Click here to read…

Resistance Front Proposed Transitional Govt to Islamic Emirate: Tolo News

A member of the negotiating team of the Resistance Front (RF) says they proposed the establishment of a transitional government in Afghanistan in their two-day meeting with officials of the Islamic Emirate hosted by Tehran.Click here to read…

US to send $308 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan: The Khaama Press

The United States has announced that they will send to Afghanistan $308 million and one million doses of “Covax” vaccines as part of their humanitarian aids to the country.Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Jan 16 NCC polls: Voters fear chaos, CEC pledges fairness- Daily Star

With the Narayanganj city polls only two days away, voters fear there may be chaos on election day over taking control of polling centres by supporters of some ward councillor candidates.Click here to read…

Assign staff to help students cross roads- Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said educational institutions up to higher secondary level must assign their own staff to make sure their students cross roads safely.Click here to read…

Momen: Rohingyas posing security risk for region- Dhaka Tribune

The foreign minister urges Vietnam, Asean to speed up Rohingya repatriation.Click here to read…

Looking back on the 1/11 era- Dhaka Tribune

The reputation of the caretaker regime may precede itself, but it still has a legacy to hold on to.Click here to read…

US-Bangla Airlines has signed a contract with Comilla Victorians in BPL- Asian Age

US-Bangla Airlines, one of the private airlines of the country, has signed a travel partnership agreement with Comilla Victorians for the eighth edition of Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).Click here to read…

Bhutan
GDP growth to rebound to 5.1: World Bank- Kuensel

The Bhutanese economy is expected to grow by 5.1 percent in the financial year 2021-22, according to the World Bank’s “Global Economic Prospects” report, released on January 11.Click here to read…

The state of state owned enterprises- Kuensel

The country’s state-owned enterprises (SoEs) are not in a good state. At a meeting between the finance ministry that governs SoEs and the heads of SoEs, what came out was that there are more challenges than opportunities.Click here to read…

RSTA’s Iron Horses to Help Monitor Traffic- Bhutan Times

RSTA will procure 13 Royal Enfield 500ccs’ to monitor and meet the demand of ever-growing vehicle numbers and accidents.Click here to read…

Outstanding individuals, schools and clubs awarded for their contributions to grassroots football- Daily Bhutan

On December 22, 2021, the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF), a bronze member of the AFC Grassroots Charter, presented awards to unsung heroes who have contributed to the growth of the football scene in the kingdom.Click here to read…

Maldives
Covid-19: Maldives expects to receive syringe shipment within the week – Raajje

The decision to administer booster shots to frontliners and those at high-risk of complications from Covid-19 who have received both doses of Covid-19 vaccine, comes following recommendations from the Maldives Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and they are currently being administered in categories.Click here to read…

Myanmar
Myanmar Army becoming more and more oppressive on civilians – The North Lines

A Myanmar junta court in Naypyitaw found 76-year-old civilian leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San SuuKyi guilty on at least three charges and sentenced her to four more years in prison- two years for the possession of unlicensed walkie-talkies, and two years for breaching coronavirus curbs, according to legal sources. Click here to read…

As Myanmar’s Military Junta Starts Suffering Huge Losses, India Needs To Reset Ties With Pro-Democracy Forces – Swarajyamag

Myanmar’s military, which seized power on February 1 last year, is bleeding profusely from attacks by pro-democracy resistance forces and the country’s ethnic rebels.Click here to read…

Junta’s Coup Was Declaration of War Against the Myanmar People – The Irrawaddy

The Irrawaddy speaks to David Scott Mathieson, an independent researcher on conflict and peace in Myanmar, about the junta’s decision to stage its coup and how the Myanmar people are resisting the military’s takeover by both non-violent protest and armed resistance.Click here to read…

IDP camps in Chin State’s Paletwa town see food supplies dwindle – BNI Online

Camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Chin State’s Paletwa town have been running low on food for weeks, said managers of the camps. The World Food Programme (WFP) mainly provides food for the IDP camps and they have not received food since the second week of December 2021.Click here to read…

Nepal

Subedi couple released- Himalaya

Ram Kumar Subedi and his wife Madhavi, who were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on the charge of preparing fake government documents in the Lalita Niwas land grab case, have been released after 21 days in judicial custody.Click here to read…

World Bank’s GDP growth projection for Nepal unchanged at 3.9pc for this fiscal- Himalaya

In its latest Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank has forecast Nepal’s economy will grow 3.9 per cent in the current fiscal year ‘supported by better agricultural output and rebounding services activity on improving vaccine coverage’.Click here to read…

Nepal’s blossoming honey industry crushed by wild weather- Himalaya

In the 15 years Chitra Bhan Khatri has been keeping bees in west Nepal, he never had trouble providing food for his insects – until last year, when unseasonally heavy rain left his honeybees hungry.Click here to read…

Deuba’s six months in office: A poor show of governance- Kathmandu Post

There is not much for the government to boast about on any front, observers and analysts say.Click here to read…

(Opinion) Supporting Africa’s small farmers- Kathmandu Post

With climate volatility set to continue, farmers need support to adapt to the changes.Click here to read…

Tourism ministry writes to police and CIAA seeking action against Narayanhiti Palace Museum Chief- Republica

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation at the direction of Tourism Minister Prem Bahadur Ale, has sent a circular seeking action against those involved in the Narayanhiti Palace Museum restaurant scandal. Click here to read…

Pakistan
PDM meeting on 25th to discuss no-confidence option: Dawn

This was announced by the Maulana while talking to reporters after his meeting with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif who visited the PDM chief’s residence here on Wednesday.Click here to read…

Pakistan urges Spain to help prevent humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan: The Express Tribune

Pakistan has urged Spain to play its role within the European Union (EU) to engage interim government of Afghanistan to avoid the impending humanitarian crisis.Click here to read…

Another IMF loan may be on the cards: The Express Tribune

The domestic economy is facing three major challenges — low export earnings, declining saving rate and the spike in global commodity prices.Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka seeks 1 billion dollar loan from India: The Financial Express

Sri Lanka is negotiating a USD one billion loan from India to import goods from the country, the governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal said on Wednesday, amidst a shortage of almost all essential commodities.Click here to read…

Sri Lanka seeks new China loan: The Hindu

Sri Lanka ruled out an IMF bailout on Wednesday and said it plans to seek another loan from China to address an economic crisis that has led to food and fuel shortages.Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, January 13, 2022

China’s new yuan loans rise in 2021: Xinhuanet
January 12, 2022

China’s new yuan-denominated loans totaled 19.95 trillion yuan (3.13 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2021, up 315 billion yuan year on year, central bank data showed Wednesday. In December alone, new yuan loans stood at 1.13 trillion yuan, down 123.4 billion yuan year on year, according to the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).Click here to read…

China unveils plan to boost digital economy in 2021-2025 period: Xinhuanet
January 12, 2022

China’s State Council on Wednesday rolled out a plan to facilitate the development of the digital economy in the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025). The country aims to raise the proportion of the added value of core digital economy industries in its GDP to 10 percent in 2025, up from 7.8 percent in 2020, according to the plan.Click here to read…

China’s NEV sales top globally for 7 consecutive years: Xinhuanet
January 12, 2022

China ranked first globally in terms of the sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) for a seventh straight year in 2021, despite economic uncertainties and supply-chain pressure, official data showed Wednesday. The country’s NEV sales came in at 3.52 million units last year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).Click here to read…

China aims high in agricultural sci-tech innovation: Xinhuanet
January 13, 2022

China is striving to beef up its innovation capacity in agricultural science and technology to further safeguard food security of the country, according to a five-year development guideline of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) released on Wednesday.Click here to read…

Xi’s Party school lecture highlights CPC’s historical confidence: China Military
January 12, 2022

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, called on Tuesday for efforts to deepen the review, study, education and promotion of the CPC’s history so as to better understand and make good use of the historical experience of the Party over the past century.Click here to read…

Foreign car companies record mixed performances in Chinese market in 2021 with chip shortage becoming a headache for some firms: Global Times
January 12, 2022

Foreign car companies showed a mixed performance in the Chinese market last year with some brands, like BMW and Porsche, recording a surge in sales, while some companies are facing the challenge of a widespread chip shortage. According to a report by the Securities Times, sales of German automaker BMW in China hit a historical record in 2021. The company delivered 846,237 units in China last year, up 8.9 percent on a yearly basis. Following the same trend, Porsche delivered 95,671 cars in China in 2021, up 8 percent from the previous year, the report showed. Click here to read…

Nation to ramp up 6G innovations, satellite-empowered networks: Global Times
January 12, 2022

China vowed to increase support for 6G innovations and promote 6G international standardization in a digital economy development plan for 2021-25 released on Wednesday, reiterating the country’s ambition of maintaining its edge in the ultrafast 6G era, despite challenges and hurdles.Click here to read…

China steps up construction along disputed Bhutan border, satellite images show: Reuters
January 13, 2022

China has accelerated settlement-building along its disputed border with Bhutan, with more than 200 structures, including two-storey buildings, under construction in six locations, according to satellite image analysis conducted for Reuters. The images and analysis supplied to Reuters by U.S. data analytics firm HawkEye 360, which uses satellites to gather intelligence on ground-level activities, and vetted by two other experts, provide a detailed look into China’s recent construction along its frontier with Bhutan.Click here to read…

New US report dismisses Beijing’s claim to South China Sea ‘historical rights’: South China Morning Post
January 13, 2022

The US government stepped up its criticism of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea on Wednesday, issuing a report that declares “historical rights” a meaningless term.
Referencing the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) and an international ruling dismissing most of China’s claims in the South China Sea, the US State Department said in its report, titled Limits in the Seas, that they “gravely undermine the rule of law in the oceans”.Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: January 12, 2022

Afghanistan
Taliban says won’t allow any country to use Afghanistan military aircraft – Business Standard

Acting Defense Minister Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid on Tuesday at a ceremony in Kabul, during which the Air Force held an exercise, said the military aircraft that were taken abroad should be returned, according to Tolo News.Click here to read…

Afghanistan crisis: Taliban expands ‘food for work’ programme – BBC

The Taliban has said it is expanding its “food for work” programme, in which donated wheat is used to pay tens of thousands of public sector workers. It comes as the United Nations (UN) has appealed for $4.4bn (£3.2bn) in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan.Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Metro to be costlier than Padma bridge- Daily Star

The eagerly-awaited Dhaka metro rail project is set to witness huge cost escalation and time extension after a new drawback has shown up in the design: inconvenient entrance and exit points at the stations.Click here to read…

High-tech vessel shines hope on hilsa research- Daily Star

Researchers now have gotten an opportunity to promote hilsa production in the country, thanks to the introduction of a high-tech vessel by the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute.Click here to read…

Taka devalued again due to declining reserves, high import costs- Dhaka Tribune

Economists say although exports have picked up significantly in recent months, it has failed to offset the imbalance created in the forex market by the low remittance and high imports.Click here to read…

Bhutan
ACC receives 451 complaints from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021- The Bhutanese

According to the Anti-Corruption Commission’s Annual Report 2020-2021, a total of 451 complaints were received over the 18-month reporting period, from 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2021.Click here to read…

Chili farmers feel threatened by imports- Kuensel

As the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests temporarily lifted the ban on chili import to “ensure availability, stabilise prices, and curb illegal import”, commercial chili farmers in Tsirang and Dagana are questioning the impact of such decisions on sustaining chili production in the country.Click here to read…

Samdrup Jongkhar town goes into lockdown- BBS

Samdrup Jongkhar town went into a three-day lockdown after two loaders and two frontliners tested positive for COVID-19 today. They were tested positive during the routine enhanced surveillance. Click here to read…

Maldives
With an Ex-President at the Helm, the Maldives’ ‘India Out’ Campaign Gains Steam – StartFor

Former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s recent support for the “India Out” campaign could elevate the opposition movement’s profile, threatening Indian investment and influence in the strategic island nation. The India Out campaign is a loosely organized series of protests and propaganda objecting to India’s involvement in the Maldives.Click here to read…

V. Aarah case: two more hearings slated for January in Yameen’s money laundering trial – Raajje

Two more hearings have been scheduled for January in the money laundering trial of Abdulla Yameen, former president of Maldives over the leasing of Aarah island in Vaavu atoll to a foreign party for resort development.Click here to read…

Myanmar
2,300 Myanmar Junta Troops Killed in Last Month: NUG – The Irrawaddy

An estimated 2,380 Myanmar junta soldiers were killed and around 600 wounded during the last month, according to the parallel National Unity Government. Between Dec. 7 and Jan. 6, 1,077 blasts and attacks targeting junta forces were reported across the country, except in Rakhine State.Click here to read…

UN urges Myanmar military to stop attacks on town – Business Live

Myanmar’s military must halt attacks on the town of Loikaw and lift a blockade on those trying to flee, a UN human rights investigator said on Monday, as a shaken resident described constant shelling and air strikes in the area.Click here to read…

KIA, MNDAA Fight Burma Army Same Day – BNI Online

In northern Shan State, fierce fighting broke out between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burma Army (BA) in the Mongpaw area and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and regime soldiers in Muse District. A local told SHAN that the KIA fought against the BA in the mountains near Mongpaw on Wednesday morning, but could not say if there were any casualties.Click here to read…

Nepal
Gathering of 25-plus people in valley prohibited- Himalaya

Authorities concerned of the three districts in Kathmandu valley have put a restriction on gathering of more than 25 people in public places to curb the rising cases of COV- ID-19. The restriction will come into force from midnight today.Click here to read…

Two major Madhes-based parties in crisis- Kathmandu Post

Disputes deepen in Upendra Yadav’s Janata Samajbadi Party and Mahantha Thakur’s Loktantrik Samajbadi Party over key appointments.Click here to read…

Student organizations demand medical college administration officials be arrested- Republica

Seven different student organizations issued a public statement regarding “the fact that three medical colleges have charged higher fees than stated by the government.”Click here to read…

Pakistan
Pakistan’s economic condition better than India: Imran Khan – Money Control

On Tuesday, Khan said that Pakistan is in a better economic condition than many countries in the region, especially India, speaking at the inaugural session of the International Chambers Summit 2022 in Islamabad. Click here to read…

BSF Seizes Drugs Worth ₹100 Crores From India-Pakistan Border In Punjab’s Ferozepur – Republic World

Amid ongoing investigation on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security breach incident where he was forced to skip the Ferozepur rally, the Border Security Forces (BSF) recovered 22 kilograms of heroin from the district in three separate incidents. Click here to read…

Pakistan refuses IMF’s proposal to renegotiate loan fearing new conditions – Business Standard

Pakistan Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said that he has refused to agree with the International Monetary Fund’s new proposal to the cash-strapped country to renegotiate its loan programme, fearing that the global lending agency might impose new conditions.Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka will repay all debt due in 2022, gradually build reserves-cenbank gov – Market Screener

The Sri Lankan government will meet all debt repayments in 2022 and work on a more comprehensive plan to address the dwindling foreign exchange reserves, its central bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said on Wednesday.Click here to read…

Skyrocketing inflation! Sri Lanka may go bankrupt – English News Track

Sri Lanka is currently facing serious financial and humanitarian threats. Here, inflation has gone up to a record level and it is being said that this could lead to bankruptcy in the country. Earlier, on 30th August last year, after the sharp fall in Sri Lankan currency and the rise in food prices, the Government had declared a National Financial Emergency.Click here to read…

Is There Any Going Back From The China-Sri Lanka Ties Over ‘Development’ Projects? – Youth ki Awaaz

Sri Lanka is looking to levy concessions from China, whose interest in the island-country go quite far, from the development of ports to the expansion of trade and commerce. The superpower winking and wooing its Sri Lankan audience for its debt diplomacy is a ploy to checkmate the ascendancy of India in this region.Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: January 11, 2022

Afghanistan
Muttaqi Meets Ismail Khan, Ahmad Massoud in Tehran: Tolo News

An Islamic Emirate delegation currently in Iran, led by acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, has met with Ahmad Massoud, leader of the Resistance Front, and Ismail Khan, the former governor of Herat province.Click here to read…

UN Official: Dialogue With Islamic Emirate ‘Important’: Tolo News

Filippo Grandi, the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, told the Washington Post that it is important to maintain dialogue with the Islamic Emirate, saying that this will ensure that Afghanistan is “viable.” Click here to read…

Afghan ambassador to China steps down: The Khaama Press

Afghanistan’s ambassador to Peking Jawed Ahmad Qaim resigned from his post on Sunday, January 10, 2022. Click here to read…

Bangladesh Bank to weaken taka in phases- The Daily Star

The Bangladesh Bank is considering to follow the path of a gradual depreciation of the taka against the US dollar in order to protect the interests of exporters and remitters. Click here to read…

Covid curbs return from Thursday- Daily Star

The Covid curbs are back five months after relaxation as the government looks to stem the tide of Covid-19 cases that can potentially cripple the economy and overwhelm hospitals once again. Click here to read…

(Op-Ed) How smart energy tech can curb soaring energy prices- Dhaka Tribune

Energy tech is a key driver behind improving energy efficiency in grids and accelerating the decarbonization of the energy sector. Click here to read…

Manju’s Jatiya Party wants law to form next EC- Dhaka Tribune

‘EC must get proper cooperation from the executive bodies of the government for holding a free and fair election,’ he says. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Tala plant shut down increases electricity import- Kuensel

Electricity imports from India this winter will increase owing to the shutdown of 1,020MW Tala hydropower plant this year. Click here to read…

Chili farmers feel threatened by imports- Kuensel

As the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests temporarily lifted the ban on chili import to “ensure availability, stabilise prices, and curb illegal import”, commercial chili farmers in Tsirang and Dagana are questioning the impact of such decisions on sustaining chili production in the country. Click here to read…

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom is one of the 15 shortlisted films for Oscars 2022 International Feature Film Category- Daily Bhutan

Premiered in London in 2019, the Bhutanese film, “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” was forced to withdraw from the 2020 Oscars due to technicality related to the formal nomination process. Click here to read…

Bhutan to import eggs from India next week- BBS

To resolve the egg shortage in the country, eggs will be imported from India. The Bhutan Livestock Development Corporation Limited (BLDCL) will import more than a million eggs next week. Click here to read…

Maldives
Five key agreements signed between Maldives, China – Raajje

As part of State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi’s ongoing official visit to Maldives, the signing ceremony took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday, where the Chinese foreign minister was joined by Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid. Click here to read…

Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih Meets with Wang Yi – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC

On January 8, 2022 local time, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih met in Malé with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was visiting the Maldives upon invitation.
On the same day, Wang Yi also held talks with Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid. Both sides witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents and attended the launching ceremony of the official logo for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Maldives. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Junta Court Sentences Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi to Another Four Years – The Irrawaddy

A special court set up by the Myanmar junta in Naypyitaw sentenced detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to an additional four years’ imprisonment on Monday in three cases against her, including alleged illegal possession of walkie-talkies and breaching COVID-19 restrictions. Click here to read…

Bound, gagged, shot: Myanmar’s military massacre women, children, charity workers as activists call for arms embargo against junta – SCMP

In 2021 there were a raft of reports about the Myanmar military regime’s mass killings, and the massacre in Hpruso, Kayah state, on Christmas Eve ranks as one of the deadliest attacks of the year. Click here to read…

Anger as Cambodia’s Hun Sen meets Myanmar military leader – The Hindu

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Myanmar seeking to revive peace efforts after last year’s military takeover has provoked an angry backlash among critics, who say he is legitimizing the army’s seizure of power. Click here to read…

Myanmar: 5 Killed In Military Helicopter Attack In Embattled Sagaing Region – Republic World

At least 5 people were killed on Thursday after the Myanmar military launched a helicopter attack near the embattled Sagaing region. The ambush took place in Gahe village, Indaw township in northwestern Myanmar, killing four siblings aged between 5 to 26 years. Click here to read…

Tun Mrat Naing attempts to erase Rohingya identity and history – Prothomalo

Prothom Alo’s interview with Tun Mrat Naing, the commander-in-chief of the Arakan Army which spearheads Buddhist Rakhine population’s openly pro-independence movement, comes across as strategically thought-through, determined and sensitive to the discourse of human rights. Click here to read…

Nepal
Prithvi Jayanti being observed today, President extends tribute- Nepal Live Today

The 300th birth anniversary of King Prithvi Narayan Shah is being celebrated across the country today by organizing a variety of programs. The event is celebrated every year on Poush 27 of the lunar calendar. Click here to read…

Communications minister Karki in home-isolation- Himalaya

Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gyanendra Bahadur Karki is in home isolation after CPN (Maoist Centre) Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha contracted COVID-19. Click here to read…

Province 2 on high alert as COVID-19 cases surge- Himalaya

With COVID-19 infection taking its toll in neighbouring India, its impact has been seen in the districts of Province 2. Till the end of last month, the infection rate was stagnant here, but now the graph is going up. Click here to read…

Nepal, India firms sign first private power trade deal of the two nations- KTP

Nepali private sector flags concern over the new Electricity Bill, which has envisaged granting legal permission for energy trade, but is pending in Parliament. Click here to read…

Govt preparing to allow private sector to trade electricity: Minister Bhusal- Republica

Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal has said that the government is preparing to allow the private sector to trade electricity. Click here to read…

(Opinion) Why Nepalis should unite to commemorate King Prithvi Narayan Shah- Nepal Live Today

The primary motive for King Prithvi to launch the battle for Nepal’s unification was to save the country from the threat of annexation by the powerful British East India Company which was looking to subjugate Nepal. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Opposition narrative of civil-military rift ‘dead and buried’: PM Imran: Dawn

Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again said that his government’s relationship with the military was ‘exceptional’ and the opposition’s narrative regarding a rift between the government and the military was ‘dead and buried’. Click here to read…

FM Qureshi discusses Afghan, Kashmir issues with Romanian PM: Dawn

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday met Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca and discussed with him bilateral matters, the situation in Afghanistan and human rights violations in India-held Kashmir. Click here to read…

Most wanted TTP commander killed in Afghanistan: The Express Tribune

Muhammad Khurassani, the operational commander and the spokesperson for the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has been killed in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, sources confirmed on Monday, who offered no further details. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Prez scraps state ministry held by Susil: Daily Mirror

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has brought about changes in ministerial subjects in an extraordinary gazette notification. Click here to read…

A win for India in Sri Lanka: Deccan Herald
Decades of Indian diplomatic efforts have finally borne fruit with India

Signing three agreements with the Sri Lanka government on jointly developing the Trincomalee oil tank farm in eastern Sri Lanka. The oil tank farm will be managed by a 51-49% . Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: December 29, 2021

Afghanistan
7,000 CCNPP Projects Remain Unfinished: MoF: Tolo News

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) said on Monday that at least 7,000 projects of the Citizens’ Charter National Priority Program (CCNPP) remained unfinished across Afghanistan. Click here to read…

No threat from Afghanistan’s borders to region: Taliban reacted to Putin’s concerns: The Khaama Press

A spokesperson of the Taliban Inamullah Samangani reacted to the recent concerns of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and added that there is no threat from Afghanistan’s borders to regional countries. Click here to read…

Shi’ite people ask Taliban to formalize their sect: The Khaama Press

Shi’ite people in Afghanistan in a statement asked the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to formalize their sect and protect their citizenship rights in the framework of an inclusive government. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Rethinking Bangladesh: A special issue- HIMAL: SOUTH ASIAN

Rethinking Bangladesh, which brings together over a dozen writers and artists, many of them based in Bangladesh, and all of them with expertise and informed insights on the country. Click here to read…

Two more omicron cases found- Asian Age

Bangladesh has identified two more cases of omicron, taking the tally of new variant infections to four. Click here to read…

‘Don’t lecture us about democracy while sheltering murderers’- Asian Age

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has hit back at the United States for criticizing democracy and human rights in Bangladesh while giving shelter to a killer of Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Click here to read…

Awami League activist killed in post-polls violence in Pabna- Dhaka Tribune

n Awami League activist was killed in post-polls violence that broke out in the Nazirpur Hatpara area of Hemayetpur union in Pabna Sadar on Tuesday evening. Click here to read…

Banks’ call centres failing to live up to expectations- Daily Star

Al Hossain Chisty, a client of a private commercial bank, tried to talk to the bank’s call centre executives to get some explanation about statement related to his credit card. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Inconsistencies in court rulings over State land encroachment cases?- Kuensel

The Supreme Court, it was learnt, had summoned both the appellants and prosecutors in the Trongsa controversial land case days after the appellant’s daughter appeared in a video with an allegation of a miscarriage of judgment went viral. Click here to read…

Anam appointed Asia News Network’s next Chairman- Kuensel

Thailand: Respected Bangladeshi journalist Mahfuz Anam, who is the editor and publisher of Bangladesh’s largest selling English daily – The Daily Star – has been elected Asia News Network’s (ANN) next Chairman. Click here to read…

Finance Minister fires warning letter to landlords over rental income- Daily Bhutan
A notification signed by the finance minister Namgay Tshering notified all the ‘real’ property owners to declare the annual rental income correctly while filing the PIT returns for the Income Year 2021. Click here to read…

MoAF makes steady head ways in 2021- Bhutan Times

The year 2021 saw the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) assisting the sourcing excess of vegetables, fruits and livestock products from the dzongkhags to Thimphu during the lockdown. Click here to read…

Maldives
Economic growth is important to boost capacity-building efforts: VP Naseem – Raajje

Economic growth goes hand-in-hand with increasing capacity building efforts, particularly in the aviation industry, says Vice President Faisal Naseem. VP Naseem took the podium at the event to officially inaugurate the Maldivian Aviation Academy, held at the Maldives National University (MNU) on Tuesday. Click here to read…

VP Naseem inaugurates ‘Manta Wings’ programme – Raajje

Highlighting that Manta Air has achieved a lot over the years, VP Naseem stated that the it is important to develop human resources in the field, in a bid to cater to the growing demand at a time the global airline industry is growing. Click here to read…

Maldives meets tourist arrival target for 2021 – Raajje

The country’s target for the year was 1.3 million, which was met with the arrival of Romanian national Constantin Stelian Emil on Monday. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Myanmar’s military coup redux – East Asia Forum

For the fourth time since Myanmar’s independence in 1948, the Tatmadaw (military) has reasserted its control. Click here to read…

Save the Children confirms staff killed in Myanmar massacre – Aljazeera

Save the Children has confirmed that two of its staff were killed in a Christmas Eve massacre blamed on the military that left more than 30 people dead on a highway in eastern Myanmar. Click here to read…

Reporter killed in Myanmar military attack near Thai border – RSF

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the international community to toughen its sanctions on Myanmar’s military junta after a journalist who was covering the plight of refugees in the southeastern state of Kayin was killed during an army artillery attack near the border with Thailand on 25 December. Click here to read…

Ethnic Armies Condemn Myanmar Junta’s Kayah Massacre – The Irrawaddy

Three allied ethnic armed organizations in Myanmar have strongly condemned the military junta’s massacre of 35 civilians in Hpruso Township, Kayah State, last week, calling the international community to bring justice. Click here to read…

Nepal
Karki counters Dahal’s document- Himalayan

A day after CPN-Maoist Centre Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal called for ensuring identity-based federalism in his political document that he presented in the party’s eighth general convention, another party leader, Ram Karki, presented a document countering Dahal. Click here to read…

Maoist delegates find Dahal’s document lacking in clarity

As discussions start on the chairman’s political paper, many say a concrete policy and time-bound programme is needed to transform the once-revolutionary party. Click here to read…

Nepal’s first electric vehicle charging station opens- TKP

The powerhouse in Lumbini generates 154 kilowatts of electricity, making it the largest solar charging station in Nepal, officials say. Click here to read…

Farmers dismayed by govt delay in fixing this year’s floor price of sugarcane- Republica

The government has failed to fix the minimum support price of sugarcane despite the harvesting season of the farm product reaching its end for this year. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Nawaz won’t return, he will be brought back: Fawad: Dawn

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday said the government would bring back self-exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to the country as he would never return himself, insisting that the opposition was incapable of toppling the present setup led by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). Click here to read…

Tabling of mini-budget in parliament deferred: Dawn

The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved the first-ever National Security Policy (NSP) of the country but deferred approval of the supplementary finance bill [mini-budget] which was scheduled to be tabled in the National Assembly on Wednesday (today). Click here to read…

Summary to grant industry status to rice forwarded to ECC: The Express Tribune

The federal government has decided to grant industry status to rice processing mills to boost the commodity’s exports and solve other problems, sources said on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Lanka readies oil tank farm deal with India; Wang to visit Colombo after spat, may offer sweeteners: The Indian Express

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Sri Lanka next week in the midst of a crippling economic crisis that has seen Colombo turn to Delhi for help and fast pedal the long-delayed India-Sri Lanka plan for joint development of the Trincomalee oil tank farm. Click here to read…

Govt braces for food shortage: Daily Mirror

The government is bracing for a possible food shortage in the coming months by initiating plans to secure around US $ 100-150 million from the Central Bank a month to import essentials such as rice, sugar, chilli, dhal and wheat flour from the regional countries, a minister said. Click here to read…